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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Scripture Reading: John 2:1–12
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples; and they remained there a few days. (NRSV)

In the classic film Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, a profound discussion ensues about the nature of Jesus and how we picture him in our hearts and minds. The character of Cal Naughton Jr. adds this perspective to the conversation: “I like to picture Jesus in a tuxedo T-shirt because it says ‘I want to be formal, but I'm here to party.’”

I think Jesus is here to party, too. I don’t think it was an accident that his first miracle recorded in the Gospel of John is turning water into wine at a wedding party. It fits well the picture of Jesus we have from the other Gospels, a man accused of being a drunkard and a glutton by his detractors. Eating and drinking with others were not “secular” or “profane” activities for Jesus—they were sacred opportunities to connect with God and each other.

When we do things like “BBQ Church” out in the courtyard or “Tailgate Communion” at Soldier Field, we bear witness to the fact that God is found in every aspect of our lives, not just in decent and orderly sanctuaries and solemn worship services. Jesus invites us into a relationship with the God of our whole lives and models for us how to celebrate life in faithful and transforming ways.

So every now and then, break out the good stuff and share God’s love with others. Throw a party and count on Jesus being right there with you.

God of our whole lives, fill me with joy and help me share that joy with all of your children. Amen.

Written by John W. Vest, Associate Pastor for Youth Ministry

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